Here is a summary of the things you need to consider when planning a day bushwalk.
- Foot Wear & Socks
Choose the best walking shoes or boots for you - do your homework here and walking will be a real joy! You need the right shoe and the right fit for your body / feet and the kind of terrain you want to cover. Consult with an outdoor store (like our local Far Outdoors, or Paddy Pallin) regarding the best shoes or boot for you. They will discuss the type of hiking boot, the components and the fit. See this summary on How to Choose a Hiking Boot by REI. Train in the footwear (and socks) that you intend to walk in. This will ensure that they are adequately broken in and will lessen the likelihood of getting blisters.
Socks are often overlooked but are very important part of your walking experience. An ultra-thin pair underneath a slightly thicker pair of socks often helps to lessen friction, minimise moisture and prevent blisters. We recommend trialling various brands and consider the sock height, fabric, cushioning and fit. Here is another REI article about How to Choose Hiking Socks
- Clothing & Safety Equipment
Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing suitable for a range of weather conditions. Consider the essential layers of base, mid (warmth) and outer (waterproof) on any hike along with a good sun-hat, sunglasses, neck scarf / buff, gloves and a beanie for head warmth. Also dress to be seen, especially when you doing training walks in urban areas. Extra safety equipment to carry in your day pack includes a small first aid kit, insect repellent, sunscreen, whistle, head-torch, dry bags for your clothes and walking poles. These extras need to be considered depending on the length and remoteness of your walk, how many in your walking party, the season and predicted weather.
- Hydration & Food
Hydration is extremely important during any walk of more than an hour. Always take a minimum of 1-2L of water with you on walks and take regular sips to stay hydrated. Choose from either 2-4 easily accessible water bottles or a water hydration system like Camelbak – here is a list of the Best Hydration systems for 2021. Remember to have a good lunch, fruit and plenty of snacks to keep your energy up – walking burns a lot of kilojoules!
A comfortable day pack is essential for a walk or more than 1-2 hours. It is best to consult with an outdoor store when purchasing a day pack to discuss your activity, the daypack capacity and features then try several on for proper fit to your torso size and waist / hips. How to choose the right day pack is an important step to enhance your bushwalking or hiking experience.
On all day walks and tours, our local walking guides carry extra group safety equipment including Personal Locator Beacons, phones or 2-way radios, large first aid kits etc. If you are new to bush-walking, walking with a group is a great walk to increase your confidence while enjoying the companionship and security of walking with others.